On December 21st, Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) coordinator Mike Richardson issued a holiday challenge to his dedicated volunteers: step up to the plate between December 22nd and January 1st—a time when most people are off traveling or spreading holiday cheer – to ensure that every disaster-stricken family gets the help they need from metro Atlanta’s Red Cross.
“It’s always a bit difficult to fill our DAT shifts during holiday periods, especially over Christmas” said Richardson, a 10-year volunteer and a veteran responder to home fires and other disasters.
But in the true spirit of giving, our DAT volunteers met Mike’s challenge head-on, coming together as one throughout the holiday period to help families and individuals affected by emergencies with emotional support, safe housing, food, clothing and replacement prescriptions.
All told, 47 volunteers gave a total of 6,312 hours during the 11-day period, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. And since emergencies don’t take a break during the holidays, volunteers were very busy, helping 245 individuals after 32 separate emergencies, including home fires, apartment fires, flooding and fallen trees. That’s nearly three incidents for each day of the challenge!
“The number of hours our volunteers dedicated to helping others, during a time when most people are celebrating with loved ones—it was just amazing, Mike said. “The fact that they would volunteer over the holidays –it says a lot.”
Georgia’s Red Cross is grateful for the commitment and dedication displayed by the Metro Atlanta Disaster Action Team and volunteers like them across the state who gave so much of themselves to help others over the holidays.
Special Thanks to These Holiday Responders:
Monique Armstrong, Adam Braxton, Noah Brock, Wesley Bruce, Nylgia Callaway, Susan Caolo, Michael Donnelly, Leon Dotson, Brandon Driscoll, Corinna Hansen, Elaine Keen, Dan Kullen, Timothy Leonard, Denise Martin, Rhonda Martin, Joe McClure, Vivian McWilliams, Richardo Medina, Mike Richardson, Jerome Roberts, Eric Schuster, Barbara Seymore, Debi Starnes, Charly Swier, Jim Tudor, Bernie Wasserman, Gary Weinstein, Randall West, Bene Williams, Joyce Thompson, Patrick Warren, Felicia Tillman, Laura Moon, Shilita Wisdom, Kristina Caufield, Marta Turner, Joseph Spann, Scott Kahler, Mae Redden, James Jondrisvits, Sindy Moon, Christie Rowe, Jayna Campbell, Lesley Peters, Waymond Hackney, Odell Lewis.
Trained Disaster Action Team volunteers are essential to our Red Cross mission. If you are reading this and have a desire to help families, individuals and children after an emergency or disaster, please visit redcross.org/volunteer and take the first step toward becoming a Red Cross volunteer!